The Resources Inventory

The Resource Inventory is your source for the latest trends regarding the resource industry. We cull the latest information and updates from the energy, oil and gas, and mining industries.

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Australia has the potential to become the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world in the next five years, according to the country’s federal resource minister.

Seven of the world’s twelve newest LNG projects, says Minister Gary Gray, are being built in Australia. The resource minister predicts an annual production of 90 million tonnes come 2018.

The demand for liquefied natural gas is expected to rapidly match that of coal by 2035. The International Energy Agency estimates that 50% more gas will be needed by that time.

The Asia-Pacific region is fast becoming the heart of the global market for gas. The region accounts for more than two-thirds of LNG production.

At the same time, imports are expected to increase by an average of 7% from 2012 to 2018. Twenty percent will go to China, which is understandably set to become one of the biggest importers of LNG in the world. The rest will go to economies that are expected to emerge within the next 20 years.

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AREVA announced that its Mongolian subsidiary has discovered yet another big deposit of uranium in Mongolia.

According to AREVA Mongol, its exploration of the Zoovch Ovoo project in Ulaanbadrah Soum has uncovered 50,000 tonnes of grade 0.01% uranium. The find is comparable in size to the largest deposits in Kazakhstan.

In addition, tests have proven that the valuable radioactive ore can be mined with the in-situ leaching (ISL) method used by AREVA.

Armed with 28 exploration licenses, AREVA Mongol is currently canvassing more than 14,100 square kilometres in the East Gobi province of Mongolia for uranium deposits that can be mined using ISL technology. Back in 2010, the Company discovered 9,888 tonnes of uranium in Dulaan Uul, and it is currently considering the feasibility of mining it as well as the Zoovch Ovoo project.

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo will be hosting iron ore mining operations by South African coal miner Exxaro plans to mine iron ore later this 2013.

Exxaro acquired the Mayoko iron ore project as part of its takeover of African Iron. The permit for Mayoko is expected to arrive anytime soon.

The South African mining company plans to infuse $320 million into Mayoko. The expected pay-off: An annual output of 2 million tonnes of iron ore for 2014 and a peak annual output of 10 million tonnes later on.

Furthermore, Exxaro has entered a partnership with the Congo government to upgrade the railway connection between the Mayoko iron mine and the Pointe Noire port.

One of the largest producers of coal in South Africa, Exxaro is currently diversifying its assets by expanding iron ore production in the Congo.

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Australia has secured what is perhaps the biggest deal in the global transport sector this 2013 by way of a $5.3 billion deal with a locally-led private consortium for the lease of two major state-owned seaports.

The winning bidder is the NSW Ports Consortium, which is comprised of Industry Funds Management, Australian Super, QSuper, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The bid involved Port Botany and Port Kembla, two big seaports in the Australian state of New South Wales.

Port Botany handles a variety of products that include natural gas, oil, and petroleum. Port Kembla ships coal and steel.

Australian officials initially projected the seaports’ lease deal will net $2.96 billion.

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While the price of gold continues to plummet, Barclay reports that copper did better in China. Chinese copper imports registered a 7% increase to 320,000 tons while copper scrap imports rose by 17% month-over-month during March 2013.

Chinese manufacturing imports surpassed expectations by registering a 14% year-over-year increase. This resulted in a marginal rise of base metals prices that had been suffering from months-long lows.

The world’s supply of copper has suffered several significant disruptions as of late. The biggest was the port strike in Chile, where 120,000 tons of copper meant for Asia and Europe got held up for three whole weeks.

On a similar vein, a gas leak closed down the important copper smelter operated by Sterlite in Tuticorin, India, which can potentially affect the supply of copper in the region if it continues into May.

Traders on the London Metals exchange took measures by holding stocks of the commodity.

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